Did You Know?
White Oak Conservation Facts
Where can you find 35 species of some of the rarest endangered animals in the world? Not in a zoo, but at a place called White Oak Conservation in Yulee, FL (30 minutes from Jacksonville) on 13,000 acres. And all this at the end of a dirt road.
Internationally known for its breeding, research and educational training programs, White Oak Conservation helps save endangered species. Cheetahs, the Mississippi Sandhill crane, the okapi (a distant cousin to the giraffe), Florida panthers and 3 of the 5 rhinoceros’ species all benefit from White Oaks’ conservation efforts.
Mark and Kimbra Walter, owners of the L.A. Dodgers, purchased the facility in 2013 from the Gilman family who had initiated a species conservation program. Since buying the property, programs are being expanded to target schools to teach the next generation of conservationists and an artist in residence program was piloted in 2016.
Our Experience at White Oak Conservation
In Dec 2016, we toured the facilities at White Oak Conservation and were amazed by the quality and scope of work being done to help save wildlife. All of the staff were knowledgeable, energetic and entertaining while always keeping the welfare of the animals as the priority. To be able to see a Pere David deer which is extinct in the wild but is now being bred to reintroduce into its native China is really special.
And while we loved the majestic giraffes, the rhinos are our favorite. Touching a mother rhino and her baby is thrilling. For Dale, to feel the skin of a wild animal he has carved in stone is a once in a lifetime experience.
What Can We Do to Help Endangered Species?
So what exactly is an endangered species? If an animal or plant is likely to become extinct (completely die out), it is considered endangered. Unfortunately, there are thousands of species that may cease to exist during our life often as a result of human activity destroying habitat. We can help by educating ourselves and taking action to get involved just as White Oak Conservation is doing.
What can we do? Plant native plants in your yard to help native animals. Slow down while driving which can help prevent an animal colliding with your car. Minimize or stop using pesticides around your house. Support organizations protecting endangered species. And learn all you can about the animals of our planet.
White Oak www.whiteoakwildlife.org